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The best Amazon's Choice tech, and why experts say that badge matters

I found the top tech with an Amazon's Choice badge, which signifies Amazon's recognition of their quality and affordability. Plus, experts explain why the badge matters.
Written by Sherin Shibu, Contributor
HP Stream | The best Amazon's Choice laptop
HP Stream
The best Amazon's Choice laptop
View now View at HP
n.o.w. Tone Therapy | The best Amazon's Choice meditation aid
n.o.w. Tone Therapy
The best Amazon's Choice meditation aid
View now View at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra | The best Amazon's Choice phone
Taking a photo with a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The best Amazon's Choice phone
View now View at Amazon
Hisense 55-Inch smart TV | The best Amazon's Choice TV
Hisense 55" R6G Series LED 4K UHD smart Roku TV
Hisense 55-Inch smart TV
The best Amazon's Choice TV
View now View at Best Buy
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) | The best Amazon's Choice Apple device
AirPods Pro are seen with books here.
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
The best Amazon's Choice Apple device
View now View at Amazon

Amazon's Choice is a coveted designation. Products that have the label have high ratings, reasonable prices, and fast shipping times. They're available to ship immediately, so they'll arrive at your door earlier than expected. According to Amazon, these products are "returned less frequently than alternative products," which means you're probably going to want to hold on to them.

Amazon looks at ratings, price, product availability, and other factors, so as customer reviews and inventory change, so too do the products that have the label. Brands and partners cannot apply or pay to have their products highlighted. 

I looked at what the experts have to say about Amazon's Choice, and the consensus was that it influences buying patterns. Researcher Guido Deiana of Bocconi University attempted to quantify the effect of the badge, writing that it "shows a strong and statistically significant effect on consumer demand." Deiana found that customers not only consider Amazon's Choice products "fundamentally different" from other offerings but also that the Amazon's Choice badge was enough to "systematically shift consumers buying patterns." So not only is Amazon's Choice affected by user feedback, but the label itself can, in turn, affect customer choice.

Edward J. Janger and Aaron D. Tweski of Brooklyn Law School added depth to the impartiality of Amazon's Choice. They pointed out that Amazon has "significant power" in the selection process because one of the criteria that sellers are evaluated on is how they handle returns and customer service. 

Also: I tried this $12 gadget that's an Amazon Choice. I remain disturbed

Contributing writer Chris Matyszczyk recently wrote about his experience with an Amazon Choice product. He succinctly and comedically stated: "It's an Amazon Choice, which allegedly means lots of people like it. Perhaps it also means Jeff Bezos swears by it."

While we'll never know for sure if Bezos endorses these products personally, we do know that the Amazon community is very fond of the tech below -- and you can get it quickly. Here are the best tech products that are currently also Amazon's Choice. We found them at other retailers too. 

Pros & Cons
  • Comes in black, pink, and blue
  • Under $300
  • Can upgrade flash storage from 32GB to 128GB for just $10 more
  • Limited RAM
  • Does not have a memory card reader
  • Reviewers struggled with processing times and keyboard functionality
More Details

HP Stream tech specs: 4GB RAM | Windows 10 S OS | Intel UHD Graphics 600 | Battery Life: Up to 11 hours | Intel Celeron N4000 Processor | 64GB flash memory 

The 2021 HP Stream 14-inch laptop is currently Amazon's Choice for laptops. This affordable laptop, priced at $289, features a 14-inch HD SVA BrightView display with anti-glare clarity. It comes with 4GB of RAM, which is good value for the price point and enables you to run multiple tabs at once. The laptop also includes Windows 10 Home in S mode as the operating system.

This laptop is Microsoft's competitor to the Chromebook and boasts a sleek design with relatively low pricing for the power it offers.

When ZDNET contributor Sean Portnoy wrote about the Stream 14 in 2016, the laptop only had 32GB of built-in storage and 10 hours of battery life. It was powered by Windows 10 and the Intel Celeron N3060 processor.

Also: HP updates Stream laptops, adds 14-inch, education models

The 2021 version of the laptop boasts a better processor with the Intel Celeron N4000 and an improved battery life of up to 11 hours of video playback. Additionally, it comes with 64GB of flash memory and a 32GB USB card. Users have the option to upgrade to a 128GB USB card for only $10 more, which keeps the total cost under $300.

Pros & Cons
  • Stress relieving
  • Quick and effective
  • No data collection or internet connection
  • Cannot increase session time
  • Batteries are currently not replaceable
  • Blue LED power indicator light can be distracting, but you can cover it
  • $179
More Details

n.o.w. Tone Therapy features: 3 minutes | 2 speakers | Over 200 plays on one charge | No phone needed | Black chrome | 0.71 ounces 

This gadget is a mindfulness aid that calms you down in three minutes. You don't have to follow any specific instructions or techniques -- turn the device on and listen. Every three-minute session is different, with tone sequences that are created at the moment. This is helpful because you won't tune the device out. You have to pay attention to mark the different tones that you hear.

When it comes to meditation devices, this is Amazon's Choice. There's a good reason for the label: Nearly 800 customers have rated the device and 90% gave it 5 or 4 stars. The pros of the device that kept coming up in reviews were that the audio tones were high-quality and soothing and that sleep comes easily after listening to this 2-3 times. 

No wires, data collection phones, Bluetooth, or even a screen are needed for these mini speakers, but such a focused device also comes with drawbacks. For one, you cannot extend the meditation time beyond 3 minutes -- you have to keep restarting it. Since each session is different, this may not be a huge issue, but it could detract from the focus of your meditation. The device is also costly, at $179 for two small speakers that you cannot repurpose for anything else, but the single-minded focus of the device could be a pro. 

Pros & Cons
  • Battery lasts for longer than a day
  • S Pen included
  • Great photos
  • Other colors do not benefit from this discount
  • Make sure to check with your carrier to ensure compatibility and the lowest price
  • It's a bigger, heavier phone
More Details

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | Main display: 6.8 inches, 3088 x 1440 pixels resolution (500PPI) | Operating system: Android 12 with OneUI 4 | Battery: 5,000mAh (45W Charging) | Cameras: 10MP rear f/4.9 telephoto with 10x optical zoom and a second 10MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, 108MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera, and 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera (120 degrees field-of-view). 40MP f/2.2 front-facing under-display camera | Dust/water resistance: IP68 rating | Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy, Graphite, Sky Blue, Red 

ZDNET's Matthew Miller spoke highly of this phone, and wrote in 2022 that the "S22 Ultra is clearly the best Android smartphone available today." What makes it stand out is its design elements, gorgeous display, and impressive picture quality. Miller took jaw-dropping images of the moon and a train station that showcased the superior cameras incorporated into this Samsung powerhouse.

Review: Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Any more perfect and it'd be an iPhone 13 Pro Max

The usual $1,199 price tag for this phone has been cut by 33% on Amazon for the phantom black, 128GB version. That puts the factory-unlocked phone at $799.

One thing I love about this phone is the included S Pen that fits neatly into the phone when you're not using it. How useful would it be to sketch or jot down a quick note with this pen? The embedded pen is useful for quick video edits as well. 

The phone is unlocked by Samsung, so you can choose your carrier and all the extras on your own, with no strings attached. This is just the S22 Ultra, customizable to your preferences. 

Pros & Cons
  • Defined picture
  • Faster gaming
  • Detailed color and sound
  • Wall mounting costs extra
  • No Bluetooth
  • Possible glare in daylight
More Details

Hisense 55-Inch smart TV features: 4K resolution | LED display | Direct lit backlight | Smart capable | Roku TV smart platform | 3 HDMI inputs 

If you're in the market for a smart TV, you're probably familiar with the Hisense brand. Previous reviews of the Hisense have lauded its bright images and reasonable prices.

Review: Hisense U8H 4K TV review: Come for the price, stay for the picture

This Hisense in particular is a large 4K UltraHD experience, with four times the resolution of a regular HD screen and over 8 million pixels. That's thanks to a full array LED backlight that creates a clearer picture on the screen. Dolby Vision and DTS studio sound enhance the visual and auditory experience, while Game Mode allows for gaming with no lagging. The smart TV aspect kicks in with streaming services through the Roku TV operating system. 

The TV is fairly light, at 25.4 pounds, and its dimensions with the stand are 48.5 by 30.4 by 8.9 inches.

Pros & Cons
  • Better fit with the addition of the XS ear tip
  • Magnets are made out of 100% recycled rare earth
  • Sweat and water-resistant case
  • Cannot personalize case through Amazon
  • Not the latest generation
  • Only one color
More Details

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) features: H2 chip | Adaptive transparence | Personalized spatial audio | Touch control | Up to 6 hours of listening with active noise cancelling | Charging case: 30 hours

ZDNET associate editor Sabrina Ortiz took a deep dive into these second-generation AirPods and highlighted all of their improvements over previous models. For one, the H2 chip gives the audio over these earbuds better clarity than before, and there are considerable upgrades to active noise cancelation and transparency mode. Touch control is also a feature that debuted with this generation of AirPods. With it, you can control the volume of your audio just by swiping on the stem.

Review: Apple reveals AirPods Pro 2: Price, release date, and features

You can get listen to music all day long by combining the charging case, which has a battery life of 30 hours, with the AirPods, which have up to 6 hours of listening time with active noise canceling. 

What is the best Amazon's Choice product?

Amazon's Choice products are a cut above the rest to begin with because they already have so many satisfied customer ratings -- and they'll ship to your door quickly. The best products currently available as Amazon's choice fall into different categories, so one may be better for you than another. 

Amazon's Choice product







HP Stream



Windows 10 S OS

Intel UHD Graphics 600 

Battery Life: Up to 11 hours

Intel Celeron N4000 Processor

n.o.w. Tone Therapy


0.71 ounces 

Over 200 plays on one charge

Black chrome

2 speakers

3 minute meditations 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra


Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 

Dust/water resistance: IP68 rating

Operating system: Android 12 with OneUI 4

Battery: 5,000mAh (45W Charging)

Main display: 6.8 inches

Hisense 55-Inch smart TV


4K resolution

LED display 

Smart capable 

Roku TV smart platform

3 HDMI inputs

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)


H2 chip

Touch control

Up to 6 hours of listening

Charging case adds 30 hours of listening time

Sweat and water-resistant case

Which is the right Amazon's Choice product for you?

Here are the reasons to buy one Amazon's Choice product over another.

Choose this Amazon's Choice product…

If you want…

HP Stream

An affordable Chromebook alternative. This serviceable laptop is under $300.

n.o.w. Tone Therapy

A relaxation device that centers your mind in less than 3 minutes. This gadget is helpful for focus and stress relief.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

An unlocked 5G smartphone with a built-in pen. You can personalize it to your liking.

Hisense 55-Inch smart TV

A smart TV for under $300 with the Roku TV platform. If you want to stream or game in 4K resolution, this is the TV for you.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

An advanced listening experience with touch control. You can get up to 36 hours of listening combined with the case and the AirPods.

How did I choose these Amazon's Choice products?

Amazon's Choice is a label that sellers cannot pay for or control, which increases its credibility. However, as the research above shows, it is not without controversy. When I created this list, I wanted to highlight the best products offered by Amazon in a number of categories.

I first searched for keywords that Amazon's Choice products fall under, such as tablets or meditation. Usually, within the keyword results, there's a section of Amazon's Choice products that many people have purchased and liked. I searched all sorts of keywords and considered a wide range of products. I wanted to find products that had already been reviewed highly by the ZDNET team, as well as products with undeniable value.

Variety was also important to me. The best TV, the best laptop, the best meditation device, and more, are all on this list because they're Amazon's Choice products that could appeal to a wide variety of people. 

What does Amazon's Choice mean?

Amazon uses the designation to highlight products that stand out from the rest. The purpose of this label is to make it easy to find the best products on Amazon, which other customers have frequently bought. The products have high ratings and can dispatch immediately to you. Amazon highlights that its chosen products are delivered more quickly and returned less frequently; the latter metric is a good variable in assessing customer satisfaction. 

Should you trust Amazon's Choice?

To answer this question, it's worth looking at how Amazon selects these products. Brands and selling partners cannot apply or pay to be featured as an Amazon's Choice product, which increases credibility. Amazon looks at the opinions of customers in the form of ratings, price, and popularity, and then matches that with what's available. Amazon's Choice is essentially top-rated products that are immediately available to ship. If you want a product that customers have raved about, and you want it quickly, this is a useful label.

What is Amazon's Choice vs Best Seller?

If you've shopped on Amazon, you're probably familiar with the best seller tag. The difference between a best selling product and an Amazon's Choice product is that in order to qualify for Amazon's Choice, the product has to be Prime-eligible and able to ship immediately. Some best sellers may not qualify for consideration based on those parameters alone. Best sellers have sustained high sales in their product category while Amazon's Choice products match target keywords and are generally high-quality and well-priced.

Are there alternative Amazon's Choice gadgets worth considering?

Here are a few other Amazon's Choice tech products I found that are also worth checking out:

View at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon
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